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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A Look Back at '11: How to Fix It

Even though their offense was dreadful, the Giants managed to keep the season interesting until the final week or so of the season, so they don't have too far to go to improve their chances at returning to the postseason next year. In the 3rd and final segment of the 2011 Season in Review, we take a look at what the Giants must do this winter to get back on top in the NL West!

As good as the pitching was, it's caused some people to start to question whether or not Brian Sabean plans to break up that fine staff in order to get more offense onto this roster. At the end of the year, it was put in papers that Sabean would "consider" parting with either Tim Lincecum or Matt Cain if it were to make a big enough offensive impact. I don't agree with that though, as good as this teams pitching is, they really don't have a bunch of arms knocking down the door to get to the big leagues like Cain, Lincecum and Bumgarner did. If they decide to deal one of those guys, it almost guarantees Barry Zito gets 30+ starts in 2012, and as much as the offense could improve, that doesn't sound like a reasonable plan to me. At the same time, they don't have the cash to throw at an Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder, either of which would improve the offense 10-fold, cause they still have to pay Aaron Rowand next year and have a few more Barry Zito seasons left as well, and those 2 take up over $30 million of payroll. Still though, they have a little bit of cash freeing up and do likely have enough to get involved in a move for a guy like Michael Cuddyer or possibly a re-signing of Carlos Beltran. Either way, I definitely see Sabean adding to the outfield this winter.

As well as a reasonable big bat, this team needs a solid leadoff hitter, and a shortstop. As much as the Giants like Brandon Crawford's defense, I highly doubt they'll put all their eggs in his basket heading into 2012. With them needing both a leadoff hitter and a shortstop, one immediately thinks of Jose Reyes. The Giants had interest in him during the season, and I think had they dealt for him instead of Beltran, and gotten 2 healthy months out of him, they would have cruised back to the playoffs. The top of this team's order at the end of the year was a mess. I was hoping they'd even upgrade just marginally in a guy like Coco Crisp, but they failed in that regard. Now, that being said, I don't want them to give out big dollars to a guy like Jimmy Rollins. I could definitely see Sabean giving him Aaron Rowand money and his bat absolutely falling out in AT&T Park. I'd rather overpay for Reyes than give Rollins 4+ years any day. I have a gut feeling that Rollins ends up in orange and black though! If they don't add a leadoff hitter via shortstop, then they have to do so in center field. There's no way they can hand the job back to Torres after the 2011 he just had. I still think Crisp would be a reasonable gamble on a one year contract, or possibly even Juan Pierre for a season or 2.

Most of all though, this lineup needs to get healthy and in shape. They need Aubrey Huff to show up next spring as the 2010 Huff, not the drained, overweight 2011 version. They needs Buster Posey to be ready from the get-go and they need him to regain that daily role behind the plate. They need Freddy Sanchez to heal up and stay healthy for a full year to stabilize the top part of the batting order, no matter who ends up leading off for them. They also need the young guys like Schierholtz and Belt to step up their consistency. None of these are unreasonable things to ask, and all could very well happen in 2012. I do see Sabean adding to the lineup, but only a piece or 2, and they won't be Reyes or Fielder, but if these things I mentioned just above do take place, then they won't need to be Reyes or Fielder. It could be Clint Barmes and Josh Willingham, and this team would still be in fine shape. The talent's here already, and as long as they get a determined bunch coming in next spring, things will be just fine.

Up Next: First 2012 Lineup Prediction!
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 6:47 PM, Anonymous J-Bill said…

    I say no to Beltran, yes to Reyes!

  • At 11:28 PM, Anonymous writing your thesis said…

    Your server works fine and I was able to contact you and get some interesting information
    Just bite!! Thank you very much!

  • At 4:42 AM, Anonymous Thomas Gamble said…

    You are right. I totally agree with you , J-Bill.

  • At 8:22 PM, Blogger Vernon said…

    You don't want Pierre being the center fielder. I saw him play in LA and his defense was atrocious.


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